Not-for-profit (nonprofit and tax exempt organizations) in United States

Loeb & Loeb LLP

The tax-exempt practice at Loeb & Loeb LLP remains the market leader for non-profit work and provides a full-service offering across litigation, trusts and estates and corporate law. Led primarily out of New York, the team has demonstrable strength in federal audits, including the IRS and internal investigations, complex regulatory matters and compliance. On the West Coast, Los Angeles-based practice head Leah Bishop focuses on tax planning and complex charitable gift agreements for donors. She holds several key clients in the real estate and entertainment industry and is supported by Stuart Tobisman who handles estate planning. The team also excels in transactional work and handles corporate restructurings and partnership matters. In New York, co-chair Jason Lilien advises clients on corporate governance and regulatory enforcement actions whilst Diara Holmes in Washington DC has deep expertise advising large public charities and private foundations. Also in DC, Marcus Owens remains a preeminent practitioner in the group.

Practice head(s):

Leah Bishop; Jason Lilien; Diara Holmes

Other key lawyers:

Marcus Owens


‘The most important and unique aspect is the expertise of Marc Owens, the main partner we work with. As a former administrator of the IRS’s Exempt Organization Division, Marc is among the world’s leading experts in non-profit law, and an invaluable resource for us as we navigate the non-profit legal landscape.’

‘Marc Owens is the key partner. We’ve also worked with associate Robyn Mohr, who is very good as well.’

‘The Non Profit practice at Loeb and Loeb has been incredibly helpful and supportive to our organization. They have provided excellent and high quality legal advice and services including corporate restructuring, real estate matters and government relations. They also have made themselves available as strategic advisors and as a”sounding board” to the agency’s managment staff and the agency’s lay leaders. When the agency experienced some serious financial setbacks the firm provided a large portion of their services on a pro bono basis.’

‘All of the attorneys who worked with us at Loeb and Loeb were skilled, knowlegeable, professional and in addition related to us in a supportive and caring manner. Jason Lilien who is the partner we turned to whenever we were in need of non profit legal services (and who would refer us to other members of the firm for specialized services such as in real estate law) is an excellent legal professional and an incredibly supportive and caring person.. He has always provided us with the highest quality legal services either directly or through his associates at Loeb. In addition, his supportive manner, wise counsel and overall approach to providing assistance to us has been essential in contending with the challenges we have faced.’

‘The non-profit team at Loeb has a breadth of experience that makes their advice uniquely valuable. In particular, the relationship partner I work with not only advises many non-profit organizations who face similar challenges, but he has worked in state government in a regulatory role which allows him to provide a great perspective when advising us regarding corporate governance and compliance issues.’

‘As noted above, Jason Lilien, who is the relationship partner we work with at Loeb, has a tremendous amount of knowledge regarding not for profit organizations and he has also served in a regulatory role at the NY AG’s office, which enables him to provide unique and valuable perspective to our organization on corporate governance, compliance and board issues.’

Key clients

Mother Cabrini Health Foundation


Oceana Action

New York State Catholic Health Plan (Fidelis Care)

Conservation Fund

Whistleblower Aid

Disinformation Index

Work highlights

  • Advised the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, the largest charitable foundation focused on New York State, on successive rounds of the Coronavirus Emergency Support Grant program, which has provided over $70m to support charities and their frontline workers in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Advised New York State Catholic Health Plan (Fidelis Care) as lead counsel on all closing and post-closing transactional matters in connection the sale as well as outside general counsel with respect to ongoing matters.
  • Advised Oceana, a nonprofit ocean conservation organization focused on influencing specific policy decisions on the national level to preserve and restore the world’s oceans, on navigating the federal tax rules concerning political activities.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is singled out for its deep bench and has expertise across litigation, corporate governance and transactional work to offer full-service to clients. Other key areas of focus include investment management and fiduciary matters. Primarily based in Washington DC, the group is led by Celia Roady and advises public charities, private foundations, and donor-advised funds on tax planning, regulatory issues and compliance matters, leveraging its larger global tax practice based in Silicon Valley. Kimberly Eney returned as partner and co-leads the group from San Francisco; she is the key name for private foundations on the Chapter 42 tax regime. Elsewhere, the group has bolstered its offering with several leading additions including Megan BellTomer Inbar, and counsel Lauren Simpson, all joining from Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP in March 2021. In DC, Caroline Waldner was promoted to counsel and remain core members of the group. Alexander Reid departed the firm in July 2021, and Shira Helstrom departed in October 2022.

Practice head(s):

Celia Roady; Tomer Inbar; Megan Bell; Kimberly Eney

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Waldner


Celia Roady is always prepared, organized, and an incredible advisor.’

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP’s tax-exempt practice has a proven track record acting for nationally leading non-profits and private foundations across the full-range of matters including regulatory compliance, transactional mandates and litigation. Led out of New York by practice head Laura Butzel ; the group advises on grant making, corporate governance issues, and asset transfers. Robin Krause advises on both domestic and international governance projects as well as succession planning for family foundations, whilst John Sare is the name for charitable giving. The group is also active in structuring program-related investments and multi-party financings. Counsels Lisa Wang and Justin Zaremby are also core members of the group. It faced several departures with former partners Megan Bell and Tomer Inbar leaving in March 2021. Counsel Janine Shissler left in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

Laura Butzel

Other key lawyers:

John Sare; Lisa Wang; Justin Zaremby; Robin Krause

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s tax-exempt practice is based in New York and led by the deeply experienced David Shevlin who has over two decades of expertise in the field. The group has an excellent market reputation handling high-end matters for leading public charities, private foundations and donors across litigation and corporate, and has demonstrable strength in corporate tax issues. Senior counsel John Bennet leads the firm’s endowment advisory practice and is recommended for program-related investments whilst Jennifer Franklin is the name for charitable gift-planning. Also in the core group is Maura Whelan who advises on domestic and international grant making. Highly rated associate Kevin Roe is ‘excellent and really clever’ according to peers and advises higher education institutions and healthcare clients on endowments.

Practice head(s):

David Shevlin

Other key lawyers:

John Bennet; Jennifer Franklin ; Maura Wheelan; Kevin Roe


‘STB is the preeminent not-for-profit legal team, particularly on investment related issues. Huge amount of experience across the team. When I started my current role, I had the mandate to setup the investment function, including governance process, for a major, complex US Foundation. The STB team has been critical in all aspects of standing up the investment function, spanning from governance framework, compliance process, taxation, review of investment agreements, structuring of major donations, and more, essentially acting as our in-house counsel on all investment legal issues.’

‘Dave Shevlin is a star. His legal knowledge superb. His team is top-notch. And his ability to work with multiple stakeholders and navigate towards a workable solution has been invaluable.

‘Its hard to comprehend how John Bennett accomplishes the volume of work that he does. His industry knowledge is incredible, and his work ethic is second to none. I think he’d could be a partner leading a not-for-profit practice at another law firm. From my understanding, he lead all aspects of the day-to-day review of investment agreements. Given the pace of fund raising this year, the fact that STB has not missed a beat is stunning.’

Maura Whelan, Jane Pennebaker, and Kevin Roe have also made strong contributions and are invaluable members of the team.’

‘The Simpson Thacher Exempt Organizations group has unparalleled expertise in this specialized area. They are strong in both the tax and the corporate laws governing nonprofit organizations. They work with a wide range of operating organizations and philanthropies, as well as individual donors, and bring a sophisticated perspective to their work. They are able to advise on complex matters involving the intersection of nonprofit and for-profit organizations.’

‘Across the board, the team is responsive, thoughtful, and great to work with.’

Venable LLP

At Venable LLP, the non-profit practice has strength in complex taxation issues and corporate governance work. Led out of Washington DC, the team is led by experienced practitioner Cynthia Lewin who advises on compliance whilst co-chair George E Constantine  is the main contact for trade associations, advocacy groups and public charities on the full gamut of matters, including lobbying and political activity. Ronald Jacobs is recommended for litigation and congressional investigations, having also founded the firm’s political law practice. Eric Berman handles enforcement actions by federal regulators. Key contacts in Baltimore include Robert L Waldman who advises on international philanthropy and Yosef Ziffer  who is the name for tax audits and succession planning. In New York, Lindsay Nathan is the contact for political groups on organizational issues and campaign finance.

Practice head(s):

Cynthia Lewin; George E Constantine

Other key lawyers:

Lindsay Nathan; Eric Barmen; Ronald Jacobs; Yosef Ziffer; Robert L Waldman


‘In our case, their expertise in Postal Service regulation and practice is most important. I believe they have a wide spectrum covering all important issues faced by nonprofits. While we are heavily involved in postal, when other issues come up, Venable is very helpful.’

‘Eric Berman is our lawyer for postal matters. He spent a couple of years getting fully up to speed before his predecessor retired. The hand-off was seamless. Eric brought new perspectives to postal matters and experience in other matters affecting nonprofits. He is very hard-working, available, and responsive to me and our board.’

‘Super smart lawyers; practical and strategic advice; always available for consultation; they treat client’s priorities as their own.’

‘Cindy Lewin. As a former in-house GC, she understands client needs impicitly. Very, very smart and a delight to work with.’

Key clients

American Cancer Society

Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers

ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Association of Materials Protection and Performance

The Common Application (CommonApp)

Carnegie Hall

Council for Advancement and Support of Education

Entertainment Industry Foundation

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

MPA – The Association of Magazine Media

National Association of Manufacturers

National Retail Federation

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

World Wildlife Fund

Work highlights

  • Advised an entertainment industry foundation on licensing, corporate sponsorships, talent contracts, tax issues, and fundraising compliance nationwide for a blockbuster television fundraising program shown simultaneously on all networks and over 50 cable channels.
  • Advised four large national nonprofit organizations on internal investigations related to potential self-dealing and harassment allegations.
  • Assisted two major national charities with the design and implementation of their impact investing programs respectively, from negotiating side letters to advising on the tax exemption and securities aspects of direct investments in for-profit technology start-ups.


Bolstered by the arrival of Alexander Reid from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in July 2021, the tax-exempt practice at Baker & Hostetler LLP has a full service offering to clients, leveraging its firm wide capabilities across IP, cybersecurity, and government relations. Housed in Washington DC, the practice is now under the leadership of Reid, who has deep experience advising on tax planning, tax controversy, and transactional matters. He also specializes in non-profit governance, and advises leading universities, foundations, and charities. The core team includes Matthew Elkin who advises on corporate structures for non-profits, particularly the formation of investment funds and joint ventures, and Edward Beckwith who is the name for operational matters of charitable and educational organizations. In Cleveland, Chad Makuch works in private wealth and advises private foundations on fiduciary best practices, grant making, and compliance.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Reid

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Elkin; Edward Beckwith; Chad Makuch


‘Alex is a star, a terrific lawyer’

Key clients

The Philanthropy Roundtable

American Red Cross



John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Work highlights

  • Advised AmerisourceBergen, a pharmaceuticals company that distributes medicine to pharmacies, with regards to a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rule change arising from an audit.
  • Advised the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on IRS audits andcontroversy with the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue.
  • Advised the American Red Cross on the issue of whether its federal instrumentality status overrides state taxing power, which would mean those sales are tax-exempt.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP’s not-for-profit practice is led by Amanda Nussbaum from New York and handles domestic and international tax planning and transactional work for higher education institutions, professional sports leagues and hospitals. The group frequently represents clients in federal level litigation and has a strong employment offering; Seth Safra is the main contact here. Tax specialist David Miller has a busy pro-bono practice and advises on the operational matters for public charities. Jason Madden assists healthcare clients on regulatory issues including compliance and data privacy. The group has demonstrable strength in the sports sector and counts the Pac12 as a key clients. Healthcare lawyer Richard Zall departed in early 2021.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Nussbaum

Other key lawyers:

Seth Safra; David Miller; Jason Madden


‘Seth Safra provides great practical advice and is able to help navigate us through some highly technical issues.’

Key clients

The Eclipse Foundation

Greater New York Hospital Association

Hospital for Special Surgery

Jewish Communal Fund

LiveOnNYC, Inc.

Los Angeles 2028

Mount Sinai Health System

Power Five athletic conference (Pac 12, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, and SEC)

Work highlights

  • Advising Los Angeles 2028 (LA28), the private, non-profit organization that will host and operate the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • Advising Hospital for Special Surgery and represented HSS in various health care regulatory and transactional matters.
  • Advising LiveOnNY, Inc., an organ procurement organization, on regulatory matters

Ropes & Gray LLP

At Ropes & Gray LLP, the tax-exempt practice is led by practice head Kendi Ozmon in Boston and has expertise representing several leading universities, academic medical centers and foundations. The group has extensive experience in taxation work, charitable giving and transactional mandates, and retains its specialism in the health care sector. Counsel Brittany Cvetanovich has a strong asset management background and advises fund managers on the formation of private equity. In the Washington DC office, highly rated Carolyn Ward is the key name handling corporate governance, domestic and international grant-making and endowments. She is supported by counsel Gil Ghatan who focuses on corporate M&A for private foundations. At the associate level, Franziska Hertel is recommended. The group works closely with its government enforcement and litigation practice to handle complex disputes. Lawyers are in Boston unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Kendi Ozmon

Other key lawyers:

Gil Ghatan; Carolyn Ward; Franziska Hertel; Nick Wallace


‘Incredibly smart, collaborative, very easy to work with. The characteristics of the team apply to all attorneys we have worked with, including Carolyn (Morey) Ward, Gil Ghatan, and Nick Wallace.’

‘Ropes & Gray LLP were terrific partners in understanding the complex nuances of a new law, the ensuing regulatory process, and the myriad ways it impacted our complex sector. The approach they took involved tactical decision-making, diplomatic communications, and, overall, the project was handled elegantly.’

‘Carolyn O. (Morey) Ward delivered exceptional service on a new complex regulation that has a multi-million dollar impact on our sector. Her leadership, and the entire team she engaged on the project, delivered thoughtful, strategic solutions to a complex and controversial situation. I was further impressed when, due to her work on the initial project, she identified another emerging matter of concern that would not have otherwise been on our radar. Her team was service-oriented, diligent, and thoughtful in providing a service that was well above expectations. We were not only satisfied, but delighted by the support we received.’

‘What I appreciate most about the practice is their deep knowledge of our space, and, as a larger firm, the ability to pull in other practice areas as needed. They have taken the time to really get to know us as the client, and it allows for efficiently responding to inquiries that we have.’

‘As a lawyer myself, I can say that Morey Ward is among the best attorneys I have interacted with. Among the highlights: incredibly knowledgeable in our space, deep understanding of us as a client, and delivers advice in a thoughtful way. In addition, she is always very responsive, and terrific to interact with.’

Key clients

University of Southern California

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

University of California

U.S. Fund for the Global Fund

Catalyst Institute

Stanford University

NYU Langone Hospitals

Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research

Work highlights

  • Advised Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in its $8bn combination with Tufts Health Plan, representing the coming together of two of New England’s most iconic non-profit health care companies.
  • Represented an asset manager in its spin-out from a public charity and as fund counsel for Azolla’s first climate technology fund.
  • Advised University of Southern California (USC), a leading research university, on the structuring and formation of a new health care system, involving the creation of a new parent entity and two new hospital subsidiaries, as well as applications for tax-exempt status for all entities.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

The tax-exempt practice at Seyfarth Shaw LLP is housed in Los Angeles and has extensive transactional tax expertise and experience in regulatory compliance for higher education and healthcare sector clients. Jointly managed by Ofer Lion and experienced practitioner Douglas Mancino, the team handles non-profit formation, international operations and lobbying and political activity for large public charities. It can also leverage its firm wide litigation offering to handle tax-related disputes. Senior counsel Christian Canas advises on exempt status formation and operational matters whilst Richard Schwartz in New York is the contact for hospitals on employee benefits, having over three decades of experience in this area. Lisa Schaures joined the team in Seattle from Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt in September 2021 and advises non-profits on corporate tax issues.

Practice head(s):

Douglas Mancino; Ofer Lion

Other key lawyers:

Richard Schwartz; Christina Canas; Lisa Schaures

Key clients

YMCA of Orange County

Northwell Health

University Hospitals Health System, Inc.

Montefiore Medical Center

Ultimate Medical Academy

Florida Non-Profit Housing, Inc.

University of Redlands

Gary Sinise Foundation

Citizens of the World Charter Schools

The Jack and Laura Dangermond Conservation Foundation

SCAN Health Plan

Work highlights

  • Advised Ultimate Medical Academy with respect to ongoing administration of its 401(k) retirement plan, with particular involvement in a three-year compliance audit of the plan and development of corrective strategies and actions, which includes a voluntary compliance filing with the IRS.
  • Advised University Hospitals Health System, Inc. across the spectrum of employee benefit plans and issues for large multi-hospital systems.
  • Advised Northwell Health on tax-qualified retirement plans, nonqualified deferred compensation plans, executive compensation, fiduciary and plan governance matters.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s non-profit practice fields a coast-to-coast presence and is jointly managed by David Ulich in Los Angeles and Tamar Rosenberg in New York. Housed within the firm’s national healthcare group, the team handles the full gamut of matters for tax-exempt clients ranging from governance issues to transactional mandates and corporate restructurings. Jay Gerzog heads the healthcare team and is recommended for representing academic medical centers and other healthcare entities, whilst corporate partner Amanda Zablocki focuses on regulatory and compliance. Special counsel Molly Unterseher joined the firm in New York from Conley Law Group LLC, and advises private foundations, public charities and donor advised funds on charitable activities and grant making. The team also leverages its wider contacts in the West Coast to handle real estate matters.

Practice head(s):

David Ulich; Tamar Rosenberg

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Zablocki; Jay Gerzog; Molly Unterseher; Rena Andoh; Lois Durant; Alan Martin; Tyler Bernstein


‘Very knowledgeable in a complex specialty; they have really invested the time to understand our organization. Tamar Rosenberg has demonstrated an in-depth understanding in the tax-exempt area, and she is very responsive.’

‘Rena Andoh, Amanda Zablocki and Lois Durant have all been extraordinary thought partners.’

‘Under Alan H. Martin Esq.’s coordination effort, the partners or associates most qualified to handle with a specific matter are normally assigned to their area(s) of expertise. As Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP are the only firm I deal with (outside of “one off” matters assigned to another firm by our insurance company), it’s hard for me to offer insight as to how SMRH compares to other firms.’

‘They make themselves available on short notice. Of the various lawyers with whom I regularly collaborate, Tyler Bernstein stands out as a solid up and comer. He assesses situations well and is forthright in his approach.’

Key clients

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

AltaMed Health Services Corporation

American Arbitration Association

Annenberg Foundation

Archdiocese of New York

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

Blue Shield of California

Catholic Health Services of Long Island

Childhelp USA

Duke University Health System

Dwight D. Opperman Foundation


Foundation for Global Sports Development

Humane America Animal Foundation

Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital

Maimonides Medical Center

MemorialCare Health System

Molina Healthcare, Inc.

Montefiore Medicine Academic Health Center

Mount Sinai Health System

New York City Health + Hospitals Corporation & MetroPlus

Ounce of Prevention Fund

Para la Naturaleza and the Conservation Trust Fund of Puerto Rico

Pollyanna, Inc.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County

San Diego Regional Policy and Innovation Center

SOMOS Healthcare Providers, Inc.

St. Charles Health System

The HBCU Founders Initiative

The San Diego Foundation

The Wallis Annenberg Legacy Foundation

University of Maryland Medical System

U.S.S. Midway Museum

Visiting Nurse Service of New York

Yale New Haven Health System

Work highlights

  • Advised on a broad range of nonprofit corporate, tax-exempt, health regulatory, transactional, property tax exemption and other work for Montefiore Medicine Academic Health Systems.
  • Advised The Annenberg Foundation on nonprofit corporate, tax-exempt, governance, grant making, investment, and other advice.
  • Advised The San Diego Foundation on its application for tax-exempt status and provided a full spectrum of organizational and governance advice for the new organization.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s tax-exempt practice is now led by former advisor at the US Treasury Department Elinor Ramey, who has returned as a partner to the firm in Washington DC. The group has significant experience advising non-profits and private foundations on corporate tax issues, compliance and estate planning, as well as representing clients before the IRS. In the New York office, counsel Jasmine Campirides is the name for trusts and estates whilst Beth Tractenberg who co-chairs the firm’s tax group focuses on domestic and international estate planning and administration. The group is also able to leverage its private client practice via New York-based James Carolan's extensive experience in endowment management and investment agreements. ERISA fiduciary matters are dealt with by counsel Edward Thomas Veal in Chicago. Former practice heads Suzanne McDowell and Catherine Wilkinson  have now retired.

Practice head(s):

Elinor Ramey

Other key lawyers:

Beth Tractenberg; Jasmin Campirides; Edward Thomas Veal; James Carolan


“They are exceptionally responsive to our requests, draw on a deep pool of legal expertise, and are thorough in their counsel.”

Steptoe & Johnson’s team members to uniquely share a sense of connection and commitment to our mission. They aren’t just providing a legal service; rather, they believe our work is making a difference in the world and they are a part of accomplishing our mission.’

Key clients

American Institute of Physics

Wounded Warrior Project

ARRAY Alliancce

PACT, Inc.

American Astronomical Society

Battelle Memorial Institute

Art Students League of New York

National Congress of American Indians

Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences

Chicago Public Media (WBEZ)

National Association of Convenience Stores

Federal Reserve Bank of NY

World Wildlife Fund

International Republican Institute

Council on Foundations

Work highlights

  • Advising Council on Foundations on exempt organization and foundation tax policy, in particular regulatory projects and analysis of guidance and legislation affecting private foundations, community foundations, and donor advised funds.
  • Advising Ava DuVernay’s non-profit entity, ARRAY Alliance, on corporate and non-profit issues.

ArentFox Schiff

At ArentFox Schiff, the non-profits practice is based out of Washington DC, and has demonstrable strength in tax-exempt bond financings and non-profit debt-financed real estate matters. Jointly managed by Brian Schneider and Sean Glynn, the group advises public foundation, charities and hospitals on governance issues, real estate finance and tax. Richard Newman holds several cultural institutions as key clients and focuses on real estate matters. In the New York office, Richard Krainin co-leads the firm’s public finance industry group and is active in real estate finance for non-profit borrowers. Eleanor Zappone is also a core member of the team. Shira Helstrom arrived as a partner from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in October 2022.

Practice head(s):

Brian Schneider; Sean Glynn

Other key lawyers:

Richard Newman; Richard Krainin; Eleanor Zappone; Shira Helstrom

Key clients

Specialty Food Association

Institute for Defense Analyses

Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

Provident Resources Group, Inc.

National Association of Broadcasters

Fannie Mae

Glens Falls Hospital

Washington Housing Conservancy

KeyBanc Capital Markets

YMCA of Greater Washington

National Public Radio


Work highlights

  • Advised the Specialty Food Association on strategy and tactics for communications with former board members and with association members, as well as a strategy to use state law, bylaws, and member data to thwart the hostile takeover.
  • Advising the Institute for Defense Analyses, a major nonprofit government contractor that administers three federally funded research and development centers to assist the US government in addressing national security issues, on an under-construction replacement headquarters facility and other projects, the total financing of which involved an excess of $500m in debt.
  • Representing Glens Falls Hospital in negotiating and restructuring a loan held by three financial institutions and a separate loan held by another financial institution as a result of the hospital failing to achieve financial covenants.

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter’s tax-exempt practice is led out of Washington DC by well-respected practitioner James Joseph , who also leads the firm’s national tax group. The team acts for several leading charitable organizations and private foundations on corporate governance issues, political activity and advocacy work. Cara Koss advises high-net-worth individuals on estate planning and tax compliance matters, specializing in structuring tax-efficient wealth transfer strategies, whilst counsel Amy Ryan is the name for transactional work for private foundations and medical research organizations. Bridget Weiss remains a key contact for regulatory work including IRS audits and sensitive internal investigations. The team also works closely with its offices in New York and San Francisco.

Practice head(s):

James Joseph

Other key lawyers:

Bridget Weiss; Cara Koss; Amy Ryan

Key clients

Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation

Mark Foundation for Cancer Research

American Clean Power Association

Gilbert Family Foundation

Joyce Foundation


Independent Living Association

Novartis US Foundation

James Beard Foundation

Markle Foundation

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Fielding an ‘excellent team’, the non-profit practice at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is strong on charitable planning and estates, and is jointly managed by tax specialist Keith Kehrer in St. Louis and Gino Serra in Kansas City. The team advises private foundations, medical research organizations and professional sports associations on political campaigning activity, wealth transfer and commercial transactions. The team handles a significant number of corporate mandates across restructurings, mergers and joint ventures. Other key contacts include Chicago-based Mary Reichert, who specializes in acting for religious organizations, and counsel Stephen Gaines in Colorado Springs who is active in charitable giving and tax planning matters for healthcare organizations and non-profits.

Practice head(s):

Keith Kehrer; Gino Serra

Other key lawyers:

Mary Reichert; Stephen Gains; Tim O’Connell


‘The attorneys at Bryan have a depth of experience working with not-for-profit organizations. They helped us through three very different operating agreements with three separate organizations – – Combination Agreement; Merger Agreement; and Conversion Agreement. Their experience and relationships help to make the processes and filings flawless. The lead attorney, associate and support staff were knowledgeable and supportive, They displayed a level of sensibility that allow the “acquired” organizations to maintain a sense of dignity while valuing the individuals histories and legacies.’

‘We have found that Bryan Cave has all the bases covered for the variety of questions we can come up with in our day to day business. We have yet to encounter an issue that they have not quickly found a knowledgeable source for and the team of lawyers there works together to provide complete solutions.’

‘Gino Serra embraced completely our vision for work outcomes and has been one of the most responsive lawyers we have used. Joe Dubinski is also unflappable and has a practical sensibility that paid off for us in many ways.’

‘Their expertise in dealing with not-for-profits is extensive and the guidance they provides is top flight. I’ve worked with BCLP for more than 20 years and cannot imagine having anyone else on our team.’

‘Keith Kehrer and Tim O’Connell are fantastic — extremely knowledgeable, calm and relaxed no matter what situation develops, and always immediately available when I need them. We have encountered very interesting issues and situations during my time working with them and I always look forward to seeing what their guidance will be. It is well reasoned, objective and shared in a way that is always easy for me to understand and follow. Nathan Boyce is another great member of the team when we need is expertise.’

‘The Bryan Cave team is exceptionally knowledgable in all aspects of non-profit governance, corporate structure, and tax. They are very responsive in all facets of our engagement, including responding to phone calls, emails, scheduling meetings, and providing high-quality deliverables in a timely manner. Lastly, I appreciate their willingness to think outside the box to offer creative solutions to the unique challenges in our business model.’

‘Gino Serra and Keith Kehrer make an excellent team. Their coordinated efforts to address complex non-profit governance, tax, and compliance issues have produced excellent results. Their quality work and well-thought-out guidance have garnered them great confidence from our staff and Executive Committee and Board of Directors.’

Key clients

Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Emerson Charitable Trust

USA Swimming

Build-A-Bear Foundation

Denver Health and Hospital Authority

X Prize Foundation

Missouri Botanical Garden


Dred Scott Heritage Foundation

Anheuser-Busch Foundation

United States Olympic Committee


Civic Progress

Russell Center for Innovation

Christo & Jeanne-Claude Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advised the Stowers Institute, Stowers Resource Management and other members of the Stowers Group of Company for more than two decades. Ongoing matters include governance, tax, employment, intellectual property, and day to day legal matters.
  • Advising the Emerson Charitable Trust regarding the special rules impacting private foundations.
  • Advising USA Swimming on matters including team matters, safe sport, governance, television, sponsorship and licensing, etc.

McGuireWoods LLP

McGuireWoods LLP’s non-profit and tax-exempt practice advises higher education institutions across Virginia, medical research organizations and public charities, and is led by Michele McKinnon in Richmond. The group leverages its trust and estates practice to handle administration matters, charitable giving and taxation issues. Jean Gordon Carter in Raleigh focuses on estate planning for organizations in the North Carolina region, whilst corporate governance and tax issues are dealt with by Bradley Ridlehoover, who is ‘outstanding’ according to clients–  he also represents clients in tax-related disputes. The team strengthened its corporate tax offering with the lateral hire of Charlotte-based Sabrina Conyers who joined from Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in September 2021. The team also assists with wealth transfer. Gerald Thomas is the head of the national tax group in Atlanta, advising on transactional work.

Practice head(s):

Gerald Thomas; Michele McKinnon

Other key lawyers:

Jean Gordon Carter; Brad Ridlehoover; Sabrina Conyers; Lucy Wheatley


‘The firm’s team are not only experts in their areas of law, but also are directly engaged in their communities as board members, donors and volunteers with local area non-profits. Their world world experience and engagement makes them better lawyers who are able to communicate about legal needs, issues and challenges in a way that is clear even for non-lawyers.’

‘Jean Gordon Carter and Brad Ridlehoover both are exceptional lawyers, and great people to work with. Their what if and how do legal advice is very practical and down-to-earth.’

‘Brad (Ridlehoover) is absolutely outstanding and goes above and beyond to support our organization. He is very prompt in responding to questions that arise and always incredibly confident and knowledgeable about organizational issues impacting our organization. Brad has been outstanding to work with and we truly feel blessed to have his support and expertise. His services have truly been invaluable to our organization! Additionally, Lucy (Wheatley) provided exceptional services when she needed to be consulted about an issue related our organization. Her willingness to step in to help, her knowledge about the issue that had arisen and her tenacity to tackle it were very much appreciated.

Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC

Highlighted for its ‘exceptional depth and breadth of knowledge’, the not-for-profit tax group at specialist boutique firm Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC spans across Chicago and Washington DC and is led by well-regarded Jeffrey Tenenbaum, who was the former head of the tax group at Venable LLP for over two decades. The team has strength advising foundations, charities, think-tanks, and other non-profits on taxation issues and represents them before federal agencies. Counsel Julie Kulovits in Chicago focuses on governance issues for non-profits, whilst Nisha Thakker , who was promoted to the partnership in January 2022, handles day-to-day operations and development. The group manages internal compliance work and employment related issues.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Tenenbaum

Other key lawyers:

Nisha Thakker; Julie Kulovits


’Tenenbaum Law Group didn’t miss a beat during COVID-19, despite an increased workload with event cancellation negotiations, PPP loan questions and Employee Retention Tax credit questions. They provide expertise in the not-for-profit industry and during the last year have provided informed advice regarding a range of issues including COVID-19 specific issues, bylaws and board governance, filing an Amicus Curaie Brief, an hotel negotiations.’

‘This is the most responsive legal firm that I have worked with in my career. They are quick to respond and quick to provide work product. Some firms tend to ramble, but not the Tenenbaum Law Group. They listen to our concerns and provide clear, concise responses.’

‘Jeff Tenenbaum is particularly effective in responding quickly and caring about his clients’ success. He also gives back to the community, frequently providing webinars and learning session (often complimentary) about timely legal issues.’

Jeff and Nisha are an incredible team – they get how their work impacts their clients – not just legally, but operationally and financially as well.

Jeff Tenenbaum is a leading expert in non-profit law. He is extremely knowledgeable and responsive to client questions and concerns.’

Jeff Tenenbaum and his team are exceptional partners for associations in their legal and governance needs. Tenenbaum is smart, practical, and easy to work with.’

TLG is extremely responsive and gets work done quickly. Jeff Tenenbaum has a very practical, real-world approach to solving problems, which makes him a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Air Force Association

Alliance for Automotive Innovation

America’s Blood Centers

American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants

American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Pediatrics Georgia Chapter

American Airlines

American Association for Clinical Chemistry

American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists

Association for the Study of Higher Education

Association for Women in Science

Association Management Center

Association Management Strategies

Work highlights

  • Advising the charity regulators of a large state’s Attorney General’s office investigating a charitable organization’s activities, including whether a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity impermissibly engaged in political activity, lobbying, and self- dealing in contravention of the state’s nonprofit regulatory statutes and whether such organization’s fundraising solicitations constituted deceptive or misleading marketing.
  • Advised a large industry trade association client and its Board of Directors on a governance overhaul to align with association industry and IRS best practices.
  • Advised one of the nation’s largest conservation nonprofits with detailed analysis on potential liability regarding client’s involvement as a large grant-maker in a significant regional environmental remediation project.

Withers Bergman LLP

The tax-exempt practice at Withers Bergman LLP is housed within the firm’s wider private client practice group and excels in domestic and international non-profit work. Led by William Kambas in New York, the team advises cross-border gift-giving, investments and estate planning; recently promoted partner Helen Cheng in San Diego who is ‘excellent’ according to clients, is the key name for this area. Steven Chidester in San Diego represents organizations in IRS audits and handles charitable giving. Co-chair of the practice Michael Brophy  handles estate litigation, from Los Angeles. Other key contacts include Alana Petraske in New York who has a specialty advising charities to attain tax-efficient status both in the US and the UK, and Lawton Leung  in New Haven.

Practice head(s):

William Kambas; Michael Brophy

Other key lawyers:

Alana Petraske; Helen Cheng; Steven Chidester; Lawton Leung


‘The team is very responsive and knowledgeable.’

‘Helen Chang is our lead contact and an amazing attorney who seems to genuinely care about her clients.’

Work highlights

  • Advising a not-for-profit organization to help register it as a charity so that it can drive forwards its vital fundraising work in response to the pandemic.
  • Advising an innovative tech entrepreneur and philanthropist in utilizing their trust to gift billions of dollars towards education, while also saving significantly in estate taxes.